Goodwill Hunting II Date Night

Sometimes life is gracious enough to give us second chances. I believe we should live in those moments in order to take full advantage of the opportunity. And just like life, sometimes a wife will be gracious enough to give her husband a second chance. In that moment he should be thankful and definitely take full advantage of another chance to right his wrong. Before your mind drifts to all the despicable things a husband would need a second change to right let me tell you about Weeknight Date Night.

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This week’s edition of Weeknight Date Night was selected by me, and it was a remix rematch of our July “Goodwill Hunting” date. Last July Anthony and I had a date at Goodwill. We had 30 minutes to select two outfits for each other. We then found a random stranger and asked her to judge our outfits. She picked both of the outfits I selected for Anthony, therefore I won the date. Anthony and my mom both cried foul, because I shop at Goodwill weekly. They felt like the judge was someone I planted in the store. Conspiracy Theory!

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Last August I was introduced to a fellow Goodwill shopper named Betsy. We’re actually from the same small town, but never had the pleasure of meeting. She has a blog called Goldwill Digger. The blog focuses on her amazing Goodwill fashion finds. She also has a ton of fashion tips as well as advice on places to shop other than Goodwill that won’t break the bank.

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Betsy and I hit it off instantly and we’ve become fast friends. So when I thought about giving ole Hutch a second chance I thought it would be a good idea if he had some professional assistance. I asked Betsy if she’d partner with Anthony and I would be teammates with her boyfriend Justin. She loved the idea and that’s how Goodwill Hunting II came to life!

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The four of us met at one of our favorite Goodwill stores and the rules were set. Both teams had 30 minutes to find outfits for the other team. The theme was “a night out on the town”. We said we’d meet back up at the dressing rooms at 6:35pm to try on the clothes.

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Both teams quickly broke apart and came up with a strategy. Justin and I decided to stick together. We started on Anthony’s outfit first. We found four pair of slacks that were close to Anthony’s style, but we made one costly error! We looked at the Goodwill tag on the clothing but NOT the tag on the inside of the pants. Major Key Alert…when thrifting make sure to ALWAYS check the tag on the inside of the clothing! We proceeded to find a nice button down and blazer to accompany the slacks.

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Justin and I then put our focus on finding Betsy an outfit. The tough part for our team was having Justin pick out pieces that were appropriate for a night out on the town and not a night in the house if you catch my drift. We found the cutest brown leather skirt, but once again we didn’t look at the tag inside! I take this personally because I’m a professional thrifter and looking at tags is thrifting 101. In the process of finding a blouse for the skirt there were a few times when Justin got off task and I had to bring him back. At one point he picked up an Elsa shirt. I looked at him and said “Justin, seriously dude let it go” pun intended! While it was easy for him to part with the Elsa shirt it wasn’t so easy for Justin to part with the short black skirt and skin baring black blouse he desperately wanted Betsy to wear. He was a great sport and went with the PG outfit, but my boy didn’t put down the black outfit. He was determined to let Betsy see what could have been. I mean you have to respect a man that doesn’t give up!!!

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Meanwhile on the other team they decided to go with a different strategy. Betsy and Anthony split up…tragic move! Betsy clearly didn’t know that Anthony has no sense of my size. It was later told to me that he picked up a size 2 skirt. I don’t think I’ve ever worn a size 2. In my best southern voice “Bless his heart!” I think even more tragic than the size 2 he attempted to pick out for me was the floral grandma cardigan he ultimately decided on selecting. Seriously that cardigan looked like I was ready to teach Sunday School and I had a ton of butterscotch and peppermint in my purse. I get it, I dress like a “fly” grandma, but the key word being fly!

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Our 30 minutes were up and the four of us met at the dressing rooms to try on our clothes. Justin was up first and his outfit was pretty good except his slacks were a tad too short. Next up was Anthony. Remember that mistake Justin and I made by not looking at the size inside the slacks? Well yeah, it came back to haunt us. Anthony’s pants were a tad (meaning he couldn’t breathe) bit too tight. I was next and my clothes actually fit. Out of the 4 of us my outfit was the only one that fit. I give ALL credit to Betsy!!! Seeing as how I grew up in the Bible Belt I felt I was missing one major accessory from my outfit…a bible. I ran over to the book section and picked up a book for my pictures. Betsy and Anthony felt I was reaching with the bible, but look below at the pictures. You be the judge! I feel that bible was needed since I looked like a Sunday School teacher. Last was fashionista Betsy and I think Justin and I did a good job with her outfit. Well except for the fact we picked out a size 16! Remember how I said I’ve never worn a size 2. Well, I’m pretty confident that Betsy has never been a size 16.

 

This date was pretty amazing!!! This was actually our first double date for a Weeknight Date Night, and I’d love to have other couples participate in our crazy adventures more often. Betsy and Justin were too much fun, so definitely keep your eyes open for them again. And be sure to swing by Goldwill Digger to stay current with all the fashion trends. I’m pretty sure you’ll see Betsy and Justin be on the blog again!

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Until next week loves…

Love and Basketball Date Night

Love and Basketball is one of those movies that I’ve seen countless times, but I continue to watch over and over again. I won’t act as if Anthony and I’s relationship has any similarity to the two main characters, Monica and Quincy. What I will say is that Anthony and I absolutely LOVE basketball. It’s my favorite sport. My mom has always been a huge Magic Johnson fan, and her obsession with Magic was passed down to me. The Lakers have been my team since the early 90s. Although I adore Magic my favorite bball player ever is none other than Kobe Bryant. Listen, it’s TOUGH watching the Lakers play without him this year. Let’s face it, it’s tough watching the Lakers play period, because well…we’re struggling! Anthony is a Boston Celtics fan and surprisingly they are actually good this year. His favorite player is Kevin Garnett.

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Our love for the game goes deeper than the NBA. We are also rivals when it comes to college basketball. I believe in the magic of “The Wizard of Westwood” (John Wooden), and I’ve been a fan of UCLA men’s basketball since 1995. Anthony on the other hand bleeds Kentucky Wildcat Blue. UCLA and KY actually faced each other two times this season. The first game was on Anthony’s birthday and I surprised him with tickets to the game. My UCLA Bruins came through with the W, but KY got their revenge by beating us in a Sweet 16 match up in the NCAA tournament. With both of us being so enamored with basketball it was only fitting that we have a basketball themed date.

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This week’s edition of Weeknight Date Night was selected by Anthony and we played four rounds of basketball. I say rounds instead of games because we had a free-throw contest, played horse, around the world and an obstacle course. The YMCA close to our house has an outside basketball court so we headed to the Y for some bball. The weather was great that day! The first contest was the best out of ten free-throws. Neither of us shot well, but Anthony was able to pull it out by making 6 out of 10 shots. That event earned him one point.

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We moved on to a game of horse, and again our shooting was off. After a few back and forth terrible misses we started to get into the creative shots. I found that I’m better shooting with my left hand than Anthony, (we’re both right handed) so I used that to my advantage and started shooting all left handed shots. When you figure out your opponent’s weakness…USE IT! I won the game of horse and earned three points.

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Up next was around the world. I refuse to admit how long it took one of us to make 10 shots to complete the game, but just know it was quite some time. Anthony won around the world and earned himself two points. We were all tied up heading into the final round.

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In the last round we had to dribble through cones, make a layup at each end of the court and then finish it off with a free- throw. We both did fairly well, but Anthony won that round and earned himself two points. Hutch won The HutchStew Basketball Classic by a score of 5 to 3.

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We had a great time on this date. We were both sluggish all week due to just getting back from Cancun celebrating our first anniversary. I’m going to use that excuse as to why we both played horribly. I don’t think Anthony has EVER beaten me in anything basketball related so this one was a tough loss for ol Stew! Basketball is near and dear to my heart so be on the lookout for a rematch!

Stew Reflects On One Year Of Marriage

1 Year Wedding Anniversary Photos - Nashville, TN

All photos by Ivory Door Studio

If I had to sum up the first year of marriage using one word it would be AMAZING!!! If you’re dating or engaged and you think you love your mate just wait until after you’re married. The love only deepens and intensifies. Some nights before we both fall asleep I’ll look at Anthony and say, “dude, can you believe we’re married?” He usually replies, “Sheena, when are you going to realize this is real? Please go to sleep it’s late lol.” That’s usually how things go around our house, I’m constantly driving him insane, but he continues to stay by my side and enjoy this crazy ride.

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As previously stated, I’m a non-traditional wife, and I’ve had to learn to shut out all the white noise and judgement I receive. I know if I’m subjected to this then other wives, fiancés and girlfriends are too. I like to provide you guys with a few things I’ve learned during my first year as a wife.

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1. Marriage is NOT one size fits all!
2. I know Wu-Tang said CREAM (Cash Rules Everything Around ME) but I beg to differ and say that Communication rules EVERYTHING in my house.
3. Dating is GREAT for the soul of your marriage.
4. Arguments are normal, but remember to “fight fairly and try to gain a win in the end”.
5. My husband is pretty darn AMAZING!!!

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YOUR marriage is YOUR marriage!!! If it works for YOU then that’s all that matters. When Anthony and I first started dating I informed him that I didn’t want to change my last name (say what). He wasn’t too crazy about it at first, but then he realized it was something that made me happy. Our wedding hashtag was HutchStew Say I Do. His last name is Hutchinson and mine is Steward, so everyone has conformed and they call us HutchStew. Our joint Christmas presents said “To HutchStew” (you gotta love when your mom plays along lol). Another clutch your pearls moment, I’m a southern wife and can’t cook (again…say what). Anthony and I dated for 4.5 years before he proposed, so there was no surprised to him that when we got married I wouldn’t cook every night. He loves to cook and I love to eat lol. I’ve let the white noise/judgement get to me on occasions and each time he’s sat me down, looked me in my eyes and said if I wanted someone who took my last name and cooked me meals I would have married her. He lets me know that what people don’t see is all the other valuable things I do for him and us that are needed for this marriage to flourish. I’ve been “the quirky girl” all my life so marriage wasn’t going to change that. I’m thankful to have someone that is open minded and accepts me as I am! So when you feel yourself listening to the white noise PLEASE remember MARRIAGE IS NOT ONE SIZE FITS ALL!

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Major key alert! Say it with me…C-O-M-M-U-N-I-C-A-T-I-O-N is huge in marriage! If your mate says something in a tone or in a way that you don’t like or you think is offensive, first STOP and THINK before you say a word. Most of the time things aren’t what they seem and you’ve simply misinterpreted what was said. Whenever we have any type of miscommunication I like to get to the “root” of it all. Yep, I’m the one that will stretch out a 5 minute conversation to an hour. Outside looking in it may seem annoying (okay I’m 100% sure Anthony finds it annoying sometimes too), but trust me it all works out in the end. When you get to the root then you’re able to find out the real problem and not just the on the surface issue.

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Remember when you were a kid and were sick? One of your parents always came through with the chicken noodle soup. It felt warm and soothing to your soul. That’s how dating feels to the soul of marriage. Yep, warm and soothing! Think about all the times your mate has surprised you or asked you out for a date. You’re happy, excited and anxious because of the anticipation. That’s how I feel EVERY week because I know Anthony and I have a date planned. It’s built in weekly quality time and it strengthens our marriage. Depending on what the date is it can teach you a few life lessons and make you see a different side to your mate. I understand that everyone’s schedules are different therefore weekly dates don’t work for some. But I do suggest at least a monthly date. Make sure the soul of your marriage is constantly fed!

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Arguments, hey let’s face it they happen! Remember to fight fairly. What does that mean? It means sticking to the topic. Don’t bring up something from 6 months ago. Deal with that another time because it only muddies the waters of the argument at hand. Fighting fairly also means being open and present during the argument. You can’t resolve the issue if one of you isn’t fully there and open! Always try to gain a win in the end. No, that doesn’t mean have a judge come in and hold up the arm of the winner of the argument. The win I’m referring to is making sure you gain something from the argument. Even if it’s a small win. If your communication is on point you’ll be able to identify the “win” at the end of the argument.

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Lastly, my husband is pretty darn AMAZING!!! We should ALL think this. Anthony and I balance one another. If it wasn’t for him my house concerts would go on until the wee hours of the morning lol. I’d probably be hurt because I like to climb, jump and have American Ninja Warrior at our house. He turns into a dad and lets me know running full speed trying to jump over the sleigh part of our bed is not a good idea (true story). He is extremely focused and will do anything in his power to make sure I have everything I want and need in life. Anthony is my biggest supporter and keeps me on task. He’s inspiring and very open minded. I’ve asked Anthony to do some dare devil things I knew he wasn’t comfortable with, but he says a prayer, looks at me and says I must really love you to do this (his words before he climbed the trapeze ladder lol). Anthony is eye candy! Seriously, look at him. He’s my biggest supporter, but I’m his as well. Anthony is extremely focused. He sets goals and CRUSHES them!!!

Again, HutchStew’s first year of marriage has been amazing! We’re currently on a beach in Cancun, Mexico celebrating year number one.

Until next time loves…
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Hutch Reflects On One Year of Marriage

What does a perfect marriage look like?

As my one year anniversary approaches and I reflect on this past amazing year, I ask myself what does the perfect marriage look like?

W.O Smith Music School Wedding in Downtown Nashville All photos by Ivory Door Studio

I believe that many people have preconceived notions as to what a marriage should look like and what their own marriage should be. These ideas of a perfect marriage may come from the observation of family members, or perhaps what the media has shown us throughout our lives.

W.O Smith Music School Wedding in Downtown Nashville

In this first year I’ve realized that one size does not fit all and that perfection is what you decide it is. Sheena and I have a very happy marriage and deciding to take this journey with her as my wife has been the best decision I’ve ever made. Throughout this year I’ve learned quite a bit, but I’ll share three lessons with you.

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  1. Communication is Key – I have learned that having open and constant communication is very important.

  2. Have fun – Having fun and doing things outside the box keeps things from getting stale. Our weekly dates have definitely added to the fun of our marriage.

  3. Teamwork – Working as a team makes everything easier. We help each other accomplish goals and know that we can depend on each other. There is no room for an ego in true teamwork.

Our marriage does not mirror anyone else’s, and we do what makes us happy. We tend to live contrary to societal norms, but if others have more traditional gender roles it doesn’t matter as long as both people are happy. I truly believe that perfection is what you decide for it to be! You can play videogames together and eat pizza for dinner every nite, but if you’re smiling together that’s what matters!

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Happiness should trump norms. Keeping your marriage spontaneous and exciting is extremely important and is what Sheena and I  constantly strive to do.

So to answer the original question of what does a perfect marriage look like, well I honestly can’t tell you. What I do know is that our marriage is perfect for us, and I’m looking forward to many  more anniversaries.

Anthony “Hutch” Hutchinson

Gymnastic Date Night

I’ve noticed a trend with a lot of my blog posts. I love to reference the 90s. Again, I’m an 80s baby so the 90s were my decade.  In 1992, the Summer Olympics were held in Barcelona, Spain. It was then that the world was introduced to the “Dream Team”. I love basketball, and have been a Lakers fan since before I could speak. I loved watching Magic Johnson and the rest of the team take home the gold.  Although I love basketball, the Olympic event I was the most excited about was women’s gymnastics. Even though I loved to watch Dominique Dawes aka “Awesome Dawesome” and her amazing floor routines she was my second favorite gymnast. Kim Zmeskal was my favorite gymnast! In honor of Kim and “Awesome Dawesome” this week’s edition of Weeknight Date Night was selected by me and we went to Nashville Gymnastics Training Center.

Last month Anthony and I were invited to the birthday party of his best friend’s daughter. The party was at the Nashville Gymnastics Training Center and I immediately went to the front desk and asked if they had adult classes. When you date your husband weekly you’re ALWAYS on the lookout for potential date locations. The worker said they had adult classes as well as adult open gym. I went back to Anthony and happily told him we’d be coming back for adult open gym.

A few weeks later, we got dressed in our athletic gear and headed to adult open gym. When we arrived we had to sign in and pay the entry fee of $10. We paid, put our shoes up and headed down to the floor. The gym is spacious and it has a ton of equipment. We started out with some light stretches. When you get old you realize you MUST stretch before and after any type of athletic event. The first thing we tried was the balance beam. Let’s be real neither of us did any flips we stuck to walking on the beam. We then moved over to the uneven bars. There was another couple on them and they made it look semi easy. Anthony was first and it was a no go. I quickly followed in his footsteps lol. We then noticed a spring-board and tall mat. We proceeded to run full speed jump off the spring and into the mat. That was sooooo much FUN! We did that several times and had plenty of laughs. We headed over to the floor to turn some flips. I constantly walk around the house doing handstands so the floor was like a second home to me. We did some flips and then I took it a step further by doing the splits and backbends. At this point we were tired (did I mention we were old). Just as we were about to leave I noticed a tall cargo net and had to climb it.

We worked up an appetite with all that bouncing around. We got out of our gym clothes and changed into something a little more comfortable. It’s March Madness so we decided to go to a sports bar to watch a few games. We ended the night eating pizza, watching college basketball, having some drinks and plenty of laughs!

Why should you visit Nashville Gymnastics Training Center?

  1. Their adult open gym is only $10 per person
  2. You’ll feel like a kid again turning flips and jumping on equipment
  3. The staff is friendly

Marriage Monday “The Dixons”

Tia is my line sister and friend. We met while we were attending college at MTSU (Middle Tennessee State University). Tia is literally one of the sweetest people I know. I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone say a bad word about her. HutchStew met Brice in July of 2016. Brice and Anthony quickly established a bromance. They kept the party going at Tia’s and Brice’s wedding in September of 2016 and then again at a friend’s party in December of 2016. The Dixons are great friends and love to have a great time. They have a precious little boy named Noah. Below is their amazing love story. Happy Marriage Monday!!! (All photos by Ann Norment Photography)

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September of 2012 I (Tia) was recently promoted to be the property manager at the property where Brice was just recently promoted. Taking on this opportunity meant I had to go to budget camp at the beach for a week (not too bad at all, who would have known this is the place where the future Mrs. and Mr. Dixon would meet). I walked into a room full of managers I did not know and sat right next to Brice. Since I was taking over the property he was leaving, he helped me construct the budget. Brice saw my Delta keychain and started a conversation because Brice is an Alpha and we had the Divine Nine connection.

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A month later I moved to North Caroline and started as property manager. During my first week Brice trained me (did I mention he also interviewed me for this position ). I was so nervous my first day, but having a cute trainer made it a little easier to learn! Time passed and we literally talked everyday because I had so many question about some residents! I talked about Brice to my friend Tiffany (Maid of Honor) everyday. She always messed with me about it, and I would be so defensive haha!

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It’s now the end of the quarter- 2012, so this means end of year bonus. I had to calculate Brice’s bonus. I texted him one day and said, “I know how much your bonus is going to be, I am coming to Charlotte and you are taking me for a lobster, shrimp, and chicken dinner.” I was just kidding, but Brice said, “Come on!” I drove to the Queen City and we had a fun filled weekend. We went to Chima Brazilian Steak house, worked out (Brice is a crazy workout guy, I am not), ate Chick-fila and went out too. I guess you can call it our “unofficial first date”. The rest is history….

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Brice knows that Christmas Eve is my favorite holiday. My friends and I always meet at my mother’s house in Tennessee to open gifts, eat chili and be merry! Christmas Eve 2014 was already a special night as we were to announce to our friends and family that we were expecting. After the traditional gift opening with my best friends, we all were hanging around the fireplace talking and eating. Brice walks up to me and says, “You want to exchange a gift tonight?” I said, “Sure.” Brice hands me two gifts to open.I was so busy talking while I was opening the gift I didn’t “catch on”. It was two t-shirts, one which said I love my crazy husband and the other which said I love my crazy wife. I still didn’t get it. I heard my friends SCREAMING at the top of their lungs as Brice was coming down to me with a box that had the most beautiful ring in it. Brice asked me to be his forever, and I joyfully accepted through my tears and all.

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Skies Over Nashville Date Night

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Photo by: Drae Brown

In October of 1995 Mariah Carey released her fifth studio album titled Daydream.  She had major hits from the album including songs like Fantasy, One Sweet Day and of course Always Be My Baby. For me the second song on the album was one of my favorites. It was titled Underneath the Stars and one of my favorite parts of the song is, “as we drifted to another place in time and the feeling was so heady and sublime as I lost my heart to you there in the dark underneath the stars.” I think there’s something magical about lying under the stars with your mate. This week’s edition of Weeknight Date Night was selected by Anthony and we were underneath the stars at the Adventure Science Center for their laser show in the Sudekum Planetarium.

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Last week was a crazy week for HutchStew! We’ve both got some great things in the works and with that comes busy schedules.  Prior to our date we had a two hour anniversary photo session with our amazing wedding photographers Ivory Door Studio. We always have so much fun with them and the shoot was amazing. I’m impatiently waiting for the pictures. After our photo session we quickly changed clothes and headed to the Adventure Science Center for their Skies over Nashville light show.

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The show was really cool. It was like we were sitting in our backyard star gazing and then all of a sudden we were transported. We learned about the constellations and how some of the most common ones aren’t actually constellations. We traveled through the Milky Way and saw its billons of stars. We traveled through the planets and went back in time to see the sunset of a year ago. We went deep into space and contemplated whether or not there is life other places than Earth. And right as my mind started to wander about that possibility of aliens we were back in Music City watching the sunset. All that traveling made us both work up an appetite so we headed to dinner after our date. We had good food, good drinks and great conversation.

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Why should you view one of the light shows at The Adventure Science Center?

  1. The shows are only $4 for members and $8 for non-members
  2. There are 5 different shows in one day (first show starts at 6:30pm and last show starts at 10:30pm)
  3. The shows are live and have a guide that explains everything to you